Does your team share sales best practices? Or do they like to keep all of their secret sales strategies to themselves?
Here at Criteria for Success, we're big promoters of sharing sales best practices. We believe that when top performers share, the whole team wins.
Charles Bernard on Sharing Sales Best Practices
Here's what Charles Bernard, our CEO, has to say about the importance of sharing sales best practices:
Want to know which sales best practices are worth sharing (and which should be shared)?
Here they are:
10 Sales Best Practices Worth Sharing
Here's a tip: As you read through this list with your sales team, be sure to update your Sales PlayBook! Add pages that don’t yet exist and edit existing pages with brand new insights. Remember, establishing and replicating sales best practices is the key to sales success!
1. Prospecting Action Plan
Most salespeople would agree that prospecting is one of their key responsibilities, but few will take the time to create a plan.
They'll start making calls, scheduling meetings, and attending networking events – all without a single goal in mind!
However, effective prospecting is a matter of targeting first and executing second.
Activity: Have your sales team create an individual Prospecting Action Plan at the start of every month. Then, have each salesperson share their plan with the rest of the team. This activity not only helps each individual hone in on their sales goals, but also promotes team accountability.
Does your company have a set plan for targeting prospects?
Is every salesperson on the team implementing the company's targeting plan in the same way?
Activity: Work together with your sales team to develop a list of ideal targets. Ask the following questions:
Who are our buyer personas and where do we find them?
What are our target industries?
What is the ideal size of the company that buys from us?
Who at that organization is the decision-maker for products and services?
Once you've identified your ideal targets, ask the following questions:
What industry events or social functions do they attend?
What books, magazines, or blogs do they prospects read?
Why should your buyer buy from you?
3. Asking for Referrals
Referrals are crucial in sales.
A trusted mutual contact can open a door to a prospect, warm up a cold call and increase your chances of getting a call-back or an in-person meeting.
So, how do members of your team ask for referrals?
Activity: Ask your team members to exchange their best “asks” and any tips that might go along with them.
Although cold-calling can seem a bit out-dated, it's still a great way to find new prospects and create new relationships.
Activity: Discuss cold-calling techniques with your team. Walk through various scenarios and encourage top performers to share ideas on overcoming the fear of rejection.
5. 30-Second Commercials
30-second commercials, or 30-second introductions, are similar to asking for referrals. Strategy will vary person-to-person.
But, just shifting a few words around can make all the difference!
Activity: Encourage your sales team to share their 30-second commercials! Be sure to have team members alter their commercials based on the situation and buyer persona.
Here are some examples:
30-second commercial for:
a decision maker
the assistant of a decision maker
6. Email Templates
An email template not only simplifies, but also improves your sales process.
You don’t want your salespeople re-inventing the wheel each time they have to send an email, right?
Activity: Get your team together to share email template best practices. Develop templates for the following personas, adding more if necessary:
Need some email inspiration? Check out the eBook below.
7. Going for No
There may be times when your team experiences ambiguity from a prospect – or worse, radio silence. In this situation, consider going for no.
Many prospects believe that salespeople can be pushy and won't take “no” for an answer, so rather than confront them directly with this response, they avoid giving salespeople an answer altogether.
Inviting straight feedback, including “no,” is often perceived as refreshingly candid and may provide the direct response your salesperson needs to move on and work with other prospects.
Activity: You guessed it… exchange this sales best practice! Have your team share their “go for no” ideas with one another.
8. Value Proposition
Aligning on the value proposition your company provides to its clientele, as well as your core strengths, helps bring a consistent message to the market.
It's also an integral part of selling – a strong value proposition allows buyers to think of your products and services as investments, rather than costs.
Activity: Get the team together to determine the best way to share the value of your company with prospects. You might also consider combining this sales best practice with the Problem/Opportunity Matrix!
9. Common Objections & Pushbacks
Objections and pushbacks in sales are about as common as heavy traffic is in New York City.
Help your team improve their sales skills by working together to battle common objections and craft powerful responses!
Activity: Work as a team to document common objections and record best practice responses.
Looking for more information on handling objections? Check out last month's eBook on the topic.
10. Success Stories
Success stories are an incredibly powerful tool in selling, and when you are part of a team, you can leverage each others' stories in conversations with prospects or clients.
A strong sales success story should include the following three elements:
The problem your client faced
The solution you provided
The business impact of your solution
This story structure demonstrates that your solutions really get results.
And, humans are hard-wired for stories. By telling an engaging story about a former client, your salespeople are feeding into this tendency.
Activity: Add success stories and case studies as attachments to or sub-pages in your Sales PlayBook. Compare and contrast stories to develop new strategies together as a team!
Here's another free resource on storytelling in sales:
What sales best practices does your team share? We’d love to hear more, so please comment below! And, be sure to check out this month's eBook on the importance of Creating & Managing A Sales PlayBook.